We begin at tidewater in Seattle and wrestle up through majestic forest to Stampede Tunnel and then down the desert canyon to Pasco. Where the Northern Pacific line squirmed the ox-bow loops at the bottom of Yakima Canyon, the cool lime-green of the North Coast Limited was a startling contrast against the chocolate browns of the lava flows. Detailed diagrams, maps and black and white photos illustrate the standard gauge 5.5% switchback line that preceded the tunnel across the very tops of Cascade Mountains.
The route of the “Portland Connection” is covered briefly. Except for the short B&W newsreel footage from the twenties, the whole program is shot on astonishingly clear commercial Ektachrome film, and not a single foot ever projected. We close with a 7 minute synopsis of: “Reopening of Stampede Pass” the first train through the tunnel in 13 years and provides insights into the building and operation of both tunnel and line. Photographed and narrated in pouring rain and blizzard conditions by veteran steam and diesel engineer, Jack Christensen.
Narration. Sunday River Productions programs may feature Color film, B&W film, Music, Dubbed Sound and still photos.